Saturday, May 22, 2004


On Reading Books Once Only

C.S. Lewis, Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (New York: HBJ, 1967), p. 17:
An unliterary man may be defined as one who reads books once only. There is hope for a man who has never read Malory or Boswell or Tristram Shandy or Shakespeare's Sonnets: but what can you do with a man who says he 'has read' them, meaning he has read them once, and thinks that this settles the matter?
J. Morley, The Life of William Ewart Gladstone (1903), II, 353:
Gladstone wrote in 1886 that he was reading the Iliad 'for the twenty-fifth or thirtieth time, and every time richer and more glorious than before.'
And he read it in the original Greek, mind you!

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